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Location: Glasgow Guide / Glasgow Images /  Funeral of Rangers Legend Jim Baxter (1)  

Friday, 20 April, 2001

Friends, family, fans and footballing greats gathered at Glasgow Cathedral on Friday to pay their final respects to one of the best players Scotland has ever produced.  Jim Baxter was an Ibrox hero and a regular in a Scotland jersey during his 1960s playing career.  Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson and former Scotland striker Denis Law were among the mourners remembering Baxter, who died last weekend from cancer.

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Tributes to Jim Baxter from the world of football:

Denis Law (Scotland team-mate)

"It is a very sad loss for everybody. It is just a shame to see him go," Law said.

"He turned on the class in the 1967 game against England and was the best player on the park that day. To beat the world champions on their own ground was mainly down to Jim Baxter.

"He was just a wonderful player, a lovely passer of the ball, and it is very sad to lose the man.

"We have lost two great players from that side now with the death of Billy Bremner a few years ago."

Eric Caldow (former Rangers' Captain and Scotland team-mate)

 "He loved football - all he could talk about was football - he was just a genius.

"He was arrogant, but he wanted to win.

"That left foot of his - nowadays it would be worth 20m - just for the left leg alone!"

Billy McNeill (Former Celtic Captain)

"He was a typical cheeky, confident type of character," said McNeill.

"But he had this enormous ability and I think Rangers spotted that more quickly than anyone else.

"He will be sadly missed by every Scottish football fan."

Robert McElroy (Rangers' club historian)

"Every single member of that team was a good player, but without Baxter they were just a good team," he said.

"With Baxter, they were exceptional - he could almost defeat a team single-handedly."

"His very presence on the park was almost worth a goal of a start to Rangers."

Bob Crampsey (Football historian)

Referring to Baxter's s ball-juggli antics at Wembley as Scotland defeated the then-World Cup holders England 3-2 in 1967.

"That's a defining moment for almost every football fan in Scotland irrespective of where their club allegiance lies," he said.

"Baxter going up and down that left wing at no great pace, keeping the ball of the deck with 90,000 people there was phenomenal.

"England had no idea what to do about it and Baxter was not about to solve that problem for them - it was a wonderful moment."

"Almost from the word go, he became a cult figure and he achieved almost messianic status.

"I would seldom use this word about football, but I think Baxter was loved and loved in the totality.

"Fans weren't blind to what others might have seen as faults. They knew he liked a drink, that he liked to stay out late and they knew he wasn't a dedicated pounder of the track, but they liked the package.

"I think, more than anything else, that he was the player they would have liked to have been."

Sandy Jardine (Rangers and Scotland team-mate)

"Jim was a wonderful player who had outrageous skill and huge confidence in his own ability," said Jardine.

"People band about the phrase 'world class' but Jim genuinely was a world-class player.

"Jim could have played at any time and anywhere because of his skill level."

Andy Mitchell (Scottish Football Association Spokesman)

"Jim is one of Scottish football's all-time greats.

"Two of his greatest performances were in a Scotland shirt - scoring two goals against England in 1963 and the famous moment when he played keepie-uppie in 1967.

"That is one of the great moments in his career but he had so many other great games and performances for club and country and he will be sadly missed."

Gordon Brown (Chancellor of the Exchequer)

"One of my earliest memories of football is supporting Jim Baxter at Stark's Park.

"He was one of the greatest players Scotland ever produced and went on to represent his country with great distinction.

"I last saw Jim just a few weeks ago in Glasgow where, as always, his well-known sense of humour made the evening one that everyone present will never forget.

"The courage he showed in his final months was a mark of the man.

"Like every other Scotland fan, I will mourn and miss Jim Baxter and will never forget what he contributed to our game."

Craig Brown (Scotland manager)

"He was an all-time great in Scottish football".

"When we won at Wembley in 1967 to become world champions, Jim was instrumental in the victory."

 Kenny Dalglish (Former Scotland, Liverpool and Celtic star)

"My lasting memory of him will be of Wembley in 1967.

"To keep the ball up just when it looked as though Scotland were going to beat them was beyond belief."

Jim McLean (Former Dundee United manager and chairman)

"Today we lack the creative ability that he had in abundance. I played against him but did not get a kick of the ball."

Images: Jimmy Logan's Funeral II>>Images: Jim Baxter's Funeral II

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